Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Disconnected Man: Breaking Down Walls and Restoring Intimacy with Him by Jim Turner


34849173The Disconnected Man: Breaking Down Walls and Restoring Intimacy with Him

by 
This book is honest and even raw at times, but Jim has been there, he has battle scars and it's very personal. Wives if you think that divorce is the answer, grab this book and read why your man has disconnected or read together. Don't throw in the towel. This provides great insight. I give this book 4.5 /5 stars. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Good Night, I Love You: A Widow's Awakening from Pain to Purpose by Jene Ray Barranco

33785098Good Night, I Love You: A Widow's Awakening from Pain to Purpose

by 
 died in a car accident. In Good Night, I Love You, she writes about her progressing of grief and how God turned pain into a new path.
Jene Ray Barranco

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Power of Your Leadership: Making a Difference with Others by John C. Maxwell


33785144The Power of Your Leadership: Making a Difference with Others

by 
uthor:
John C. Maxwell

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity by Saundra Dalton-Smith


34849164Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity

by 
About the Author:
Saundra Dalton-SmithDr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a Board Certified internal medicine physician. She shares with audiences nationwide on the topics of eliminating limiting emotions, correcting work-rest imbalances, and experiencing personal renewal. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women's Day, Redbook, First For Women magazine, Focus on the Family, and many other publications. She is the founder of I Choose My Best Life. Her other books include award-winning Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves and Come Empty: Pour Out Life's Hurts and Receive God's Healing Love.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Devotions for the Hungry Heart: Chasing Jesus Six Days from Sunday by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

35398258Devotions for the Hungry Heart: Chasing Jesus Six Days from Sunday

by 

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne

34220538The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne 

About:

When Molar Alan and his older brother, Aaron, fill out their Christmas wish lists front and back, the Santa at the mall informs the boys they won't be getting anything they asked for. Instead, he says, they will receive everything they never wanted. This isn't your garden-variety Santa, he's Dr. Chris Ringle, a pediatric oncologist, and he enlists the brothers as Santa's elves at the children's ward for the holidays. Each boy is charged with a very special assignment. Aaron will befriend Madhu, a fast-talking boy on an organ transplant list who, though not Christian, has an insatiable curiosity and wants to learn all about the holiday. Madhu is determined to be a wise man in the hospital pageant, despite the objections to his interpretation of the role. Molar's task is considerably harder, as he attempts to help a lonely little girl named Katrina. Katrina's surgery has left her scarred, and she has shut herself away from everyone. But it is through her that the true spirit of Christmas will touch the lives of all those around her in a way none of them would have foreseen. 

My Thoughts:
"The Paper Bag" is one of the best Christmas books I have read this Christmas season. It is the perfect book to grab and blanket, while holding a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace as the snow is falling by your Christmas tree. I have to be super careful not to spoil this book because it was so good and I don't want to give a lot away. This book is one that will teach you the true meaning of Christmas, especially through terminal illness. It is a book that shows the real meaning of friendship and the gift of hope. While it's a short novel, it is a tear jerker, so grab the tissue box. I would love to see this book turned into a film! I highly recommend it! I give this book a raving review of 5/5 stars! Read this book and you won't be disappointed. In fact, order yourself a copy and friend for Christmas! They will thank YOU!


About the Author:
Kevin Alan MilneKevin Milne was born in 1973 and grew up in Sherwood, Oregon, a quiet country town south of Portland. He earned a diploma from Sherwood High school in 1991, in a graduating class of fewer than one hundred students.

In college, after studying such varied fields as film, journalism, communications, pre-dentistry, pre-law, and German, Milne eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Brigham Young University. One of the few things he didn’t study as an undergrad was business, which, ironically, is what he chose to pursue in graduate school, earning an MBA at Penn State University in 2000.

Today, Kevin is a business professional by day, an author by night, and a husband and father around the clock. He and his wife, Rebecca, were married in Washington DC in 1995. They have five children.



Sunday, December 17, 2017

Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life: Inspiring Prayers for Living Life "Heart First" by Karen Moore

34733825Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life: Inspiring Prayers for Living Life "Heart First"



Saturday, December 16, 2017

How to Fix a Broken Record: Thoughts on Vinyl Records, Awkward Relationships, and Learning to Be Myself by Amena Brown


34460477How to Fix a Broken Record: Thoughts on Vinyl Records, Awkward Relationships, and Learning to Be Myself

By Amena Brown 

My Thoughts:

Maybe you've heard the words that you never succeed in life by a loved one, a former boss or even an ex. Maybe the enemy has lied to you and told you that you weren't good enough and you actually believed it. Did you believe him when he told you that you weren't a child of the King?  Or maybe, you did something and feel that God could never forgive someone like you. Well, truth is that Amena knows first hand the struggles and seasons of what it's life to experience broken pieces. She offers her story on the loss of a baby and her desire to get pregnant. This completely spoke to my heart and she offers the reader what it means to stick it on through the thick and thin of the journey when life isn't easy. I have heard Amena brown speak through IF gathering, so I was excited to read her book, but this is my first read by her. This book is fantastic! It feels like I am sitting down over a cup of coffee talking about real life. This book was very easy to read and I read it fast. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author :
Amena BrownAmena Brown is a poet, speaker, author, and event host. Named one of Rejuvenate Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 Changemakers, Amena is the author of five spoken word CDs and two non-fiction books Breaking Old Rhythms and her latest release How to Fix a Broken Record which releases in November 2017. She has performed and spoken at events across the nation such as Creativity World Forum, IF Gathering, and Chick-fil-A Leadercast, as well as touring with Gungor, Ann Voskamp and the Voices Project Historically Black College and University Tour.

She and her husband, DJ Opdiggy, travel and perform together and they also host regular open mics in Atlanta: every fifth Thursday at Urban Grind Coffee and every 2nd Friday with Curate at Ebrik Coffee Decatur









Friday, December 15, 2017

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

34020199My Thoughts:

The House on Foster Hill is by debut author Jamie Jo and what a read! Between plot twists, mystery, suspense and incredible details, this book will captivate you, while holding your attention between two time periods. Written in a dual plot lines with immense attention to detail, this book will keep you intrigued. 

Kaine Prescott is grieving the loss of her husband who passed away two years ago. After begging in desperation to re-open the case after the suspicious death of of her husband, Kaine decides she needs to leave home and get a fresh start. Kaine decides to purchase "The Foster Hill House." Little did Kaine know what would be in store for her and the purchase of this abandoned property. 

Painful memories are what Ivy Thrope has of Foster Hill a century earlier. When a woman is found dead on the property, she can't help but try to discover the identity of the woman. Of course, Ivy is lead on a course that is dangerous, risk-taking and possibly losing her life as she works to uncover the mystery. 

Full of suspense, page turning and history, this book will draw you immediately as the characters have your attention. If you are a fan of suspense and mystery, this book is definitely one that you have to read! Just when you think you know who did it, it isn't who you think it is, or is it? You'll have a great time trying to piece this mystery together! I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:

Jaime Jo WrightProfessional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.
Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Seeds of Hope (Harvest of Hope #1) by Barbara Cameron


{MORE ABOUT SEEDS OF HOPE}

Seeds of Hope (Gilead, November 2017)
A heartwarming tale of discovering love right in front of you
Miriam Troyer has had a secret crush on Mark Byler since she was a teenager, but she knows they can never have a relationship: Mark is a big-city attorney and an Englischer. Her Amish community is too far removed from all he knows–and she loves her quiet way of life.
Mark has always loved his visits to his grandfather’s farm, but he’s convinced the Amish life isn’t for him. There’s so much of the world to see and experience, and the excitement of his successful law practice can’t be matched by the slow pace of life found back home in the country.
But when things go wrong and his firm distances itself from him to try to save themselves, Mark finds himself back at his grandfather’s farm. Could life in this simple world be worth living after all? Especially when the teenager he remembers has grown into a woman that could be his future. Suddenly, these two people whose lives seem so far apart may get a chance to really see each other for the first time.
Learn more and purchase a copy.


My Thoughts:

Seeds of Hope is the first book in the Harvest of Hope series by Barbara Cameron. Miriam Troyer has a huge crush on Mark Byler and has since they were teenagers. Miriam knew that a relationship would never happen between the two of them, but Mark returned home and all of a sudden he noticed Miriam in a different way. When Mark was offered the farm by his grandfather, was it luck or fate that Miriam would get a possible second shot with Mark? Would Mark want to be apart of the Englisch world or the Amish world? Will Mark be able to make it in the Amish world if he chooses to or will his career and skills keep him from life on the farm? The only way to know is to grab a copy yourself and start reading!

This is a great read! I enjoyed the pace of the book and the story line. I found the storyline to be real and the characters to be authentic. I love how the characters each struggle with different aspects of life and faith. I found this book to be enjoyable and was well written. Amish fans will truly enjoy this wonderful story! I give this book 4/5 stars. A favorable review was not required.






Enter to win a copy of Seeds of Hope. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced December 22 on the Litfuse blog!




Barbara Cameron

{MORE ABOUT BARBARA CAMERON}

Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award from RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Find out more about Barbara at http://barbaracameron.com.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

You're Gonna Love Me (Thunder Creek #2) by Robin Lee Hatcher


34460574You're Gonna Love Me (Thunder Creek #2)

About:
Who knew fate could twist a tragedy into a second chance at love?

Samantha Winters lives her life the way a good accountant should—measured, deliberate, and safe. After watching her father die in a tragic skiing accident, she decided never to allow risk into her life again. But she didn’t count on falling for Nick Chastain, who embodies everything she doesn’t want in her safely constructed world.

Against Samantha’s warnings, Nick plans a dangerous kayaking trip over spring break. Furious that he’s so careless with his life, she ends their fledgling relationship with harsh words.

Two years later, Samantha is desperately in need of a change. When she learns her grandmother has had an accident and is in need of a caretaker, Samantha quickly packs her bags and heads to Thunder Creek, Idaho. But nothing could prepare her for the surprise awaiting her in her grandmother’s hospital room . . . Nick.

With the charming backdrop of small-town friends, beloved cousins, and a whole church congregation rooting for them, can they set aside the disastrous ending of their first try at love? Has Nick changed enough to meet Samantha in the middle—and can she realize that a risk in love might be worth taking?

My Thoughts:
If you enjoy books filled with romance, faith and turning the page, this book is made for you! Told in a Hallmark fashion, you'll fall in love with the story of Samantha & Nick. Their characters are well developed, the backdrop of the story is relaxing and a wonderful pace to help you fall in love. This is by far one of my favorites of Robin Hatchers books. I couldn't put it down until I was finished as I had to know what was happening with these two characters. Put this book on your Christmas wish list and get ready to sit back with a cup of hot tea, with a cozy blanket and let the hours pass by as you fall in love with a great story. I really enjoyed the pace of this story, the plot and character dynamic. It is wonderful! I give this story 5/5 stars and highly recommend it. 

About the Author:
Robin Lee HatcherRobin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writer of America and the winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and numerous other awards and recognitions, Robin is the author of over 75 novels/novellas. Her books have been translated into Dutch, French, and Chinese (to name a few).

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She and her husband make their home outside of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon puppy named Boo and a persnickety tuxedo cat named Pinky. Join her on her Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/robinleehatcher) and/or Twitter and/or her website & blog.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

You Are Beautiful: A Model Makeover from Insecure to Confident in Christ by Ashley Reitz, Lorilee Craker (


34849174You Are Beautiful: A Model Makeover from Insecure to Confident in Christ

by 
Have you ever felt like you were not enough-not pretty enough, thin enough, or enough enough?
You will never be all that the world demands you to be-it's impossible. Just ask curve model Ashley Reitz, who struggled for years with feeling overlooked, frizzy-haired, round-faced, and chubby. Her insecurity, disordered eating, and weight issues derailed her happiness and set her on a treadmill of constantly trying to be enough and never succeeding.
Even after Ashley grew up, graduated from beauty school, and launched a successful international modeling career, it took overcoming some painfully dark circumstances to provide her with the needed clarity and strength to confront her deeply rooted insecurities. She realized she had to surrender daily, actively seeking her acceptance and finding her worth in Jesus alone. Finally, she realized the truth: She was already beautiful.
And so are you! Join Ashley as she explores topics of confidence, beauty, positive body image, and the maddening-and futile-pursuit of perfection. Like an encouraging friend and sister, Ashley speaks truth and healing into your life as you:
Rethink your true source of identity and confidence.
Choose physical and spiritual wellness over our culture's unnatural fixation with being "skinny."
Take back the power you and millions of others have unwittingly handed over to the media.
Learn to believe God's words of love and value about you, every day.
Are inspired by a formerly insecure "hot mess" who has been transformed through seeking her confidence in Christ alone.
Believe that you are enough, because Jesus said so.

My Thoughts:
In our world today, it is easy to feel as one is overlooked or not slender enough. The feeling of not being "enough" is very common in our society today with standards that are impossible to live up too and media that bombards us daily with images of women that we "should" be. Yet, these are all lies and Ashley Reitz dispels the lies as a model in "You are Beautiful."  She lets the reader into a world where she too faced the lies of perfection, weight issues, insecurity and wanting to look perfect as a model. However, she has come a long way in her journey and has wrestled with this battled. Her message, "You are beautiful! "

Reitz hits on a variety of topics including perfection, confidence, beauty, body image and identitiy. In the end, she wants the reader to grab their Bible, listen and take the word of God in as truth and the most important media, rather than listening to society. If we would stop focusing on the world around us and see us the way God see's us, we would love ourselves and have a healthier image of who we are in Christ and his purpose for us. 

This book is perfect for tweens, young adults or college age students. It would be perfect for those who are in those formative years and are struggling with who they are. However with that in mind, this book has amazing truths for a woman of any age, especially as this book is full of encouragement, told from a Biblical perspective and is a quick read.  I highly recommend it. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 


About the Author:
Ashley ReitzAshely Reitz works with top agencies as a "curve model," offering her a platform to promote a healthy body image to young women. She has been an ambassador for a popular movement called Healthy Is the New Skinny and has been on the board for Miss SW Florida USA. Ashley has appeared in major magazines such as Seventeen and in national ad campaigns for Avon, Macy's, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Along with her "match" B.T., she was a fan favorite on FOX TV's reality show Coupled. Follow her at ashleyreitz.com.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Nourish: Discover God's Perfectly Balanced Plan for Your Body and Soul by Katie Farrell


34849175Nourish: Discover God's Perfectly Balanced Plan for Your Body and Soul

About:
NOURISH will provide you with encouragement and practical knowledge for living a healthy lifestyle, both physically and spiritually. 

NOURISH is not another health or diet book; the message of this book is unique as it addresses all three aspects of health: spirit, soul, and body. The practical and spiritual tools provided in this book are what sets it apart from the rest of its kind. Too many people give up on their journey to health because they have a plan that addresses only the physical aspect of health. However, this book encourages the reader to first pursue health at a heart level, bringing lasting change that comes from the inside out.
In this book, you will discover how the health of your soul is the foundation to your overall health. Katie shares how to renew your mind and study God's word, which will change the perspective on how you see yourself, making loving yourself (and your body) possible.
You will learn how to replace lies with the truth and shift your focus from what the world says to what God's Word says. In addition to the spiritual truths, you will learn how to nourish your body with clean eating foods and get practical tools that make healthy living enjoyable and maintainable.
NOURISH will provide you with encouragement and practical knowledge for living a healthy lifestyle, in addition to providing a balance of spiritual and physical nourishment. This book will inspire you to get healthy from the inside out.

My Thoughts:
I loved "Nourish" by Katie Farrell. I cannot say enough good things about this book. From the beginning, Katie is transparent about her battle with body image, food and how she has had to wrestle with these things as idols rather than seeing the perspective God has of her. Until she got the right perspective, she knew that the outside would never reflect the transformation that Christ was looking to do on the inside. Once Katie figured out that looking good on the inside was a direct reflection of the inner beauty Christ was trying to do on the inside, Katie began to trust Him and replace the lies she has been telling herself for years. Packed with truth, recipes and advice, this book is encouraging for the woman who is looking for practical tools to live a healthier lifestyle from the inside out. 
One of the many things I loved about this book was the recipes. I struggle to find recipes that excite me or to find new ones to incorporate into my life that are easy and Katie was able to do that for me! I also loved the power and vulnerability that Katie has in sharing her testimony. Her story is inspiring, yet relatable and something that all women have experienced at some point or another. This is one of those books that you will keep on the shelf to bring on from time to time for different seasons in your life, daughter or granddaughter's life. I truly enjoyed this book. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

About the Author:
Katie Farrell Author of the Dashing Dish cookbook, KATIE FARRELL, is the owner of Dashing Dish Inc., a web-based nutrition business and ministry. After years of working as a labor and delivery nurse, Katie pursued her passion to help women get healthy and enjoy the journey. Dashing Dish is a place where women can find encouragement and fulfillment through a balance of healthy living principals and God's Word. Katie now works with clients through meal planning, teaching life skills for balanced eating and nutritional counseling.

Dashing Dish provides custom build-your-own meal planning and grocery list tools, as well as an iPhone app for people on the go. Katie also provides health and nutrition education to the community and speaks at women conferences nationally. Dashing Dish website has 30,000+ unique visitors per day.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully Engaged Members of Your Church by Nelson Searcy, Jennifer Dykes Henson

34020321Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully Engaged Members of Your Church


About:
Fusion offers a step-by-step, biblically grounded, tested, and proven plan for establishing a relationship with newcomers that ultimately prompts them to become fully developing members of our churches. This innovative, practical guide is full of how-to information, testimonials, examples, and self-assessment tools. Engaging, informative, and immediately applicable, here is help for setting newcomers on the path toward true life transformation and spiritual maturity.

My Thoughts:
"Fusion" is a great church tool for leaders. This is perfect for pastors. The aim of the book is for those in ministry trying to engage first time guests into returning back to their church for a second and third time. The author basically uses second-time guest relationships a building block for opportunities to have them become regular attendees. He then encourages a membership class to move attendes to further their level of commitment to the church. One note I must point out, is that this system's structure is based on the fact that those who are being disciples are being discipled out of community in a small group setting. While he offers great advice, not every church has these resources of team members to do this. I give this book 4/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Church of the Small Things The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life By Melanie Shankle

Church of the Small ThingsThe Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life

By Melanie Shankle

About:
Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog tackles these questions head on in her fourth book, Church of the Small Things. Easygoing and relatable, she speaks directly to the heart of women of all ages who are longing to find significance and meaning in the normal, sometimes mundane world of driving carpool to soccer practice, attending class on their college campus, cooking meals for their family, or taking care of a sick loved one.
The million little pieces that make a life aren’t necessarily glamorous or far-reaching. But God uses some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness—and sometimes they look a whole lot like packing lunch.
Through humorous stories told in her signature style, full of Frito pie, best friends, the love of her Me-Ma and Pa-Pa, the unexpected grace that comes when we quit trying to measure up, and a little of the best TV has to offer, Melanie helps women embrace what it means to live a simple, yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.
My Thoughts:
Have you ever wondered if the small things matter? Does the mundane, everyday routine of life matter? Yes, of course it matters! It matters to God and it matters to the Kingdom! Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as you open an amazing book full of wit, laughter and belly laughs! This book will bring tears to your eyes as your heart will be overjoyed, but you will also feel deeply connected to your purpose, gifts, talents and ultimately the creator. This book is one that every woman can pick up to read and enjoy. Melanie is an open book and it makes this book easy to read, easy to open your heart and easy to empathize. I highly recommend this book. I give this book 5/5 stars. If you think going to church is about being in a building, Melanie will show you that the church is more than a building. Give this book a read! 

Talking with Your Kids about God: 30 Conversations Every Christian Parent Must Have

34020322Talking with Your Kids about God: 30 Conversations Every Christian Parent Must Have

About:
Christian parenting is hard work--and it's getting harder. Parents have a deep desire to pass on their faith, but fear that today's increasingly skeptical and hostile world will eventually lead their kids to reject the truth of Christianity. That leaves many parents feeling overwhelmed--uncertain of what they can do to help their children, given the difficulty and extent of the faith challenges they will face.

This practical and timely resource gives parents the confidence of knowing what to discuss with their children and how to discuss it in order to facilitate impactful conversations that will form the basis of a lifelong faith. In a friendly, parent-to-parent voice, Natasha Crain identifies 30 specific conversations about God that parents must have with their children, organizing them under the categories of

- the existence of God
- science and God
- the nature of God
- believing in God
- the difference God makes

Chapters are sequenced in a curriculum-oriented way to provide a cumulative learning experience, making this book a flexible resource for use in multiple settings: homes, church classes, youth groups, small groups, private Christian schools, and homeschools. Every chapter has a step-by-step conversation guide with discussion questions and tips, and content is readily adaptable for use with kids of any age.

My Thoughts:

Natasha Crain did a great job in tackling some hard stuff in "Talking with your Kids about God." First, she goes after apologetics including lessons about science and what it means to believe in God. This lesson is so important and parents, if you aren't teaching your children, someone else will! The church isn't always equipping children to learn stuff the way you want them to understand it and schools definitely won't, so you need to stand in the gap. I love how she gets the conversation going! 

Many of the topics that Crain covers are tough, but she presents them well and they are easy to follow through. She gives an overview of the topic with references to scripture, places to dive deeper for understanding and then she summarizes key points, offers discussion questions and challenges parents. It is great! 

I think this book is great for the parent or even children's pastor who is young and is learning about apologetics in how to teach children what the Bible says. I think it's also geared towards youth pastors and is a great tool! I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required.